Never say never with Yankees, Red Sox battles

Did the recent sweep of the New York Yankees by the Red Sox cement the division? I think not with the history between the two.

Boston Red Sox fans are all giddy with the recent success against the New York Yankees. Both teams had significant injury issues going into their series and Boston stretched out a lead thanks to some fine pitching and excellent hitting. Toss in a memorable comeback and the sun shines brighter on Red Sox Nation going into the final run.

There were certain things we remember in history such as remembering the Alamo or remembering the Maine. But since this is about baseball I will remember 1978 as our personal year of infamy since it was against the Yankees.

The Red Sox had a superb team that year and what appeared to be an insurmountable lead. The rest is an ignominious chapter in team history culminating in a humiliating one-game  playoff loss to the Yankees. A creative phrase oft-repeated to describe the lazy fly ball home run by Bucky Dent will most certainly be avoided.

This was just another chapter in an almost NeverEnding Story of historical Red Sox failures. Unfortunately far too many of them involve teams from New York especially the Yankees. Most were self-induced.

The Red Sox and the Yankees this season are very balanced teams and both have the opportunity to see how they do against the three ragamuffins that are left in the division. All three of those teams have been picked clean by both the Yankees and the Red Sox and have packed it in. Boston and New York may have to settle the issue against the three surrenders as much as against each other.

The Red Sox and Yankees schedule against each other is far from complete with Boston holding an eight to five edge with six games remaining.  There is a saying that what goes around comes around and both teams have the ability to balance the books over 19 games. But the Red Sox have certainly placed New York into a position where a Wild Card is quickly becoming the only viable option. But, again, never say never when it comes to counting your baseballs.

Both Boston and New York should be in the playoffs with the division winner having the advantage of not being in a wild-card game. Last year that was the case and the Yankees ended up going to the division championship while Boston had an early trip to the golf course. So much for the wild card in 2017. And could history repeat? Never say never.

What Boston really has to do is get over this latest playoff hump in the last two seasons where they have managed to be blown out in three straight games and then avoided a sweep by winning a game. And from my perspective, the best case scenario is to play the Yankees in the playoffs which is far more entertaining an emotional than any other match-up. I am sure the media networks will agree with that as it provides a rating bonanza.

The beauty about September is both teams should be fully healthy as all the nicks and dents will have been repaired and everybody will be back. you will also have the usual callups to fill out the roster for endless pitching changes. But the key will be to avoid the past and keep the pressure on.

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About Rick McNair

Born in Boston and have lived in the area all my life but not as a Red Sox fan. My first game was actually at Braves Field where I saw a very young Eddie Matthews hit a home run. The Braves left and I quickly switched loyalties. I enjoy discussing the Red Sox past and the connection of that past to the present. I will often bring in remembrances of that into posts. As a retired teacher I have the time to occasional travel to foreign baseball soil and love meeting up with other fans of RSN on the road. I am also a fan of the NY Football Giants (via NJ) - a dwindling breed in Massachusetts.
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